The county has joined “Bee City USA,” an organization that strives to protect bee habitats.

Howard County has taken the first step in promoting and protecting bees by signing up to be a “Bee City.” Howard County Executive Calvin Ball made the announcement at an event at the Howard County Conservancy on September 6, 2019. The county joins 96 cities and counties across the nation working to limit the use of pesticides creating safe habitats for bees through a partnership with Bee City USA

Bees play a crucial part in our ecosystem, pollinating the plants that provide humans with fruits and vegetables. County Executive Calvin Ball sees this partnership as part of a broader effort to combat climate change.

“One in three bites of food we eat is the result of insect pollination," Ball said. "They are critical to our health and our entire ecosystem. Tragically, pollinators are in decline due to habitat loss, climate change, and the impacts of widespread pesticide use. We cannot wait for the rest of the world to recognize this crisis; we must innovate and be the model of leadership we want others to follow.”

Bees buzzing around wildflowers

The county has pledged to protect bees by limiting the use of pesticides that kill bees, creating pollinator habitats, and developing outreach programs. So far the county has created a 55-acre pollinator-friendly habitat on public parkland and built two butterfly stations complete with nectar plants, milkweeds, and shelter for monarch butterflies. The Department of Parks and Recreation also worked with the Howard County Bird Club to create a special seed mix for pollinators.

Howard County has signed onto the Paris Climate Agreement and become the first county in the nation to join the U.S. Climate Alliance’s Natural and Working Lands Challenge. County Executive Ball has also signed an executive order to reduce the government’s greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

What are you doing to help save the bees? Are you happy about this initiative? Tell us in the comments!